Four GOP candidates in race for Port Bryon trustee posts
Four GOP candidates are running for village trustee posts in Port Byron’s upcoming April 4 election, including one open two-year trustee term and three open four-year terms, according to Dispatch/Argus’ QCOnline.com.
Roger Oliver is running for the two-year term trusteeship, facing off against Independent D. Wayne Oney. He was commissioned into the Air Force in 1971 and served for 30 years, holding leadership positions as a pilot and logistics officer. Upon retirement, he worked for Thrivent Financial as a financial services representative.
Oliver earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, a master’s degree in art and business administration from Webster College in Missouri and his private pilot’s license during his time in the Air Force.
He is heavily involved in the community, serving as the financial officer for All Saints Lutheran Church in Davenport. He is part of the Davenport Noon Optimist Club and serves as its liaison to the Davenport Civil Air Patrol and a local Boy Scout Troop. Oliver is also an officer with the Port Byron American Legion Post and is on the Port Byron Cemetery Board.
Oliver has two children and five grandchildren with Marilyn, his wife of 47 years.
In the race for the four-year term trusteeship, Republican incumbents Scott Sidor and Brian Bitler and Republican newcomer Dustin Sloan are vying for three open positions against Decomratic newcomer Sarah Ford and Independent newcomer Patty J. Lindley.
“I believe in nonpartisan politics and try to work as a team to do what always is in the best interest of the village," Sidor said, according to the QCOnline.com article. "The biggest challenge for the village is to balance infrastructure with aesthetics of the community while keeping an eye on the people’s money."
Sidor is president and CEO of Safe Money Concepts and SMC Wealth Management in Port Byron, as well as Clay Spring Manufacturing in Des Moines. His accomplishments in his previous term include helping vacate Port Byron’s old school property to allow for development, developing the park across from village hall, and securing financing for the Water Treatment Plant and Water and Sewer Extension Project, which included the installation of ADA-compliant sidewalks.
He considers his biggest achievement to be the city’s balanced budget. “Eight years ago the village could not pay its bills," Sidor said. "Today, we have a balanced budget while still building a massive amount of infrastructure—and saved almost $800,000 in capital revenue for a rainy day."
Sidor is 57 and has one son with his wife, Kim.
Bitler, also running as an incumbent, is focused on growing the village in a way that maintains its small town atmosphere.
“The long range goal of the village should be family activities and family focus,” Bitler said. During his previous term, he helped bring a new park to the town, implemented sidewalk improvements and helped control tax incremental financing (TIF) spending. If elected, he hopes to further advance the sidewalk project and ensure that families living outside the TIF district are better represented. He does not support using tax revenue for homebuyer incentives or a residential TIF district.
Bitler is 56 and has three children and six grandchildren with his wife, Vicky.
Sloan would be a newcomer to local politics and, at 35, would bring young blood to village government.
“I would like to bring a younger perspective to the board and help the community move forward,” he said to QCOnline.com.
Sloan runs his own business, Honey-Do Handyman, which he opened after working in finance for 10 years. He has lived in Port Byron for the past six years and attended Rockridge High School and Northern Illinois University. He coaches Jr. Rams Wrestling and has three children with his wife, Summer.
The upcoming election will take place on April 4 and will also determine the next Port Byron village president. The ballot also includes a measure allowing residents to vote on whether future municipal elections should become nonpartisan or remain the same.
As no one filed to run for village clerk, the trustees in place following the election will appoint someone to that position.